DotF: Charleston gets no-hit in third game of the season

Both Triple-A Scranton and Double-A Trenton were rained out. The RailRiders will make up their game as part of a doubleheader on April 29th. The Thunder will make up their game as part of a doubleheader on June 4th.

High-A Tampa (11-6 win over Lakeland) they were down 6-0 after four innings

  • SS Jorge Mateo: 2-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 CS, 1 E (fielding) — second triple of the season already
  • 1B Mike Ford: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K — hit a game-tying grand slam in the seventh inning
  • 2B Abi Avelino: 1-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SB
  • RF Austin Aune: 1-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 3 K — seven strikeouts in 14 plate appearances so far
  • LF Michael O’Neill: 3-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 K — Paulie’s nephew was a homer shy of the cycle
  • RHP Chance Adams: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 4/2 GB/FB — 47 of 74 pitches were strikes (64%) … he’s a reliever the Yankees are trying in the rotation, and, uh, the first start didn’t go so well
  • LHP Jacob Lindgren: 1 IP, zeroes, 1/2 GB/FB — nine of 14 pitches were strikes (64%) … he pitched Thursday and he’s right back in there tonight … seems like they want to get him a lot of work

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CC Sabathia, big hits lead the Yankees to an 8-4 win over the Tigers

(Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Clearly, the cold didn’t bother the Yankee bats today. After being shut out by Jordan Zimmermann and company yesterday, New York struck back with an 8-4 victory thanks to dingers and a big Jacoby Ellsbury three-run triple. Oh yeah, and fifth starter CC Sabathia threw a solid game to start off his season, which is always neat.

Hot Offense In Cold Detroit

Al from Miami, playing in the frigid weather, delivered a solo homer in the first inning on a Mike Pelfrey 92-mph fastball down the zone. It looked like a solid line drive off the bat and just didn’t sink until clearing the left field fence. Talk about a frozen rope in freezing weather.

The Yankees padded their lead in the second inning. Brian McCann singled to lead off the inning, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. A Carlos Beltran ground out sent him to third. Starlin Castro failed to bring him in (grounded out weakly to first) but Didi Gregorius did the job by lining an RBI single to left. 2-0 Yanks.

They were far from done with Pelfrey. In the fourth inning, with one out, McCann walked and Beltran added another baserunner with a single. With two runners on, Castro hit a liner to right to J.D. Martinez that momentarily went into his glove, but dropped in for base hit. Because it appeared that Martinez made the catch for a second, McCann didn’t get a solid start and stopped at third base. With bases loaded, Gregorius hit a sac fly to bring McCann in. 3-0 Yankees. Ronald Torreyes’s infield single loaded the bases once again. Jacoby Ellsbury delivered the knockout blow by hitting a deep three-run triple that made it 6-0 Yanks. New York roughed up Pelfrey in his Detroit debut.

The circle change! (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Six Inning CC

The Yankee fifth starter, CC Sabathia, was up for a tough task: facing that Tigers lineup in the cold. It’s not like he came off of an inspiring Spring Training either (5.51 ERA in 16.1 IP). For the first three innings, however, he was literally perfect, throwing only 34 pitches as well. His fastball sat around 85-87 mph, which is more Mark Buehrleian than vintage Sabathian.

In the bottom of the fourth, however, the big man faltered a bit. Sabathia allowed his first baserunner in the fourth with a four-pitch walk to Ian Kinsler. After retiring Justin Upton, he walked Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to load the bases. Maybe it was the cold or maybe it’s other things, but it was a totally different story with Sabathia’s command that inning. After striking out J.D. Martinez, Sabathia surrendered a two-run single to James McCann.

The bases were re-loaded with an Iglesias single, and up came Mike Aviles, who was 9-for-25 (.360) against Sabathia in his career. Aviles hit the first pitch hard to left but Brett Gardner ran in down to end the inning. That frame could have gone been a lot worse. 6-2 Yanks.

CC gave up another earned run in the seventh when Kirby Yates let the inherited runner score. Sabathia’s final line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K. All things considered, not a bad start. He is also the first Yankee starter this season to pitch six full innings, so there’s also that.

Rest of the Game

Just as the Tigers were close to bringing some momentum on their side after scoring two in fourth, the Yankees took it right back. In the top of fifth, McCann got on base with a single (again) and Carlos just launched a 92 mph fastball from Buck Farmer into the right field seats for a 8-2 lead. That pitch was up and center, and, well, you know what hitters like to do with mistakes like that.

The Yankees did surrender two more runs in the bottom of seventh: a Kirby Yates wild pitch and RBI ground out by Ian Kinsler. That was just about all the damage that Yankee bullpen allowed though. Joe Girardi plugged in the Dellin BetancesAndrew Miller duo to take care of the last two innings. They went as well as you’d expect: Dellin struck out the side in a scoreless inning and Miller struck out one in a perfect frame. Ho-hum. Yankees won 8-4 in the second game of the series.

Leftovers

Starlin Castro had two hits today – the second one happened to be the 1,000th of his career. He’s still a young guy – a 90’s kid (born in March 1990) so I think that makes it pretty impressive. Our Katie Sharp wrote earlier this week that, with that accomplishment, he’s in company with some special names.

Torreyes impressed in ST with his bat control and he showed off his skill today. Starting at third on Chase Headley‘s day off, he went 3-for-4, bringing his season average to .800 with a 2.000 OPS. Yes, they are in a grand total of five at-bats, but it’s cool to see someone like him finally have some ML fun after being sent around many teams last offseason.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

Here’s the updated standings from ESPN, WPA from FanGraphs and the box score and video highlights from MLB.com. Knock yourself out if you want to bask into this win a bit more.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The Yankees play the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game tomorrow against the Tigers. It will be a matchup of highly-paid starters: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Justin Verlander.

Saturday Night Open Thread

CC Sabathia pitched the Yankees to a win this afternoon and Nick Swisher is pretty much back in the organization. We’re out here partying like it’s 2009 again. Fun fun fun.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Extra Innings Package is still in a free preview right now, so find the channels and you can watch any game you want. Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner is a few minutes away. The Islanders are playing too. Talk about those games or any of today’s other goings on right here.

Game Five: Sabathia’s Season Debut

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees said all throughout Spring Training the fifth starter’s spot was up for grabs, but when it was all said and done, the job went to the guy I think most of expected it would go to: CC Sabathia. The veteran southpaw beat out Ivan Nova despite inferior numbers because he finished the Grapefruit League season well, and also because he’s CC Sabathia and making $25M a year. Money talks, yo.

This afternoon the Yankees will have their normal middle of the lineup back in there, which is good because the offense looked pretty helpless yesterday. That’s usually what happens when you sit three of your best hitters. Even with that shutout loss yesterday, the Yankees currently lead in the AL in runs scored and are fifth in MLB overall. The offense is quite good when everyone’s on the field. Here is the Tigers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 2B Starlin Castro
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 3B Ronald Torreyes
    LHP CC Sabathia

This is going to be another cold one. Temperatures in Detroit are in the 30s and the wind is going to make it feel like it’s in the 20s. There is snow in the forecast later today, though it doesn’t look like anything that will impact the game. At least as long as it doesn’t go to extra innings. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin at 1pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Guest Post: On the nature of Fandom: A Family Story

The following is a guest post from longtime reader Tarik Shah, who wrote about the Yankee fandom in his family.

(NY Daily News)
(NY Daily News)

As a new baseball season is upon us, I like many Yankee fans am excited. For the first time in a long time, the franchise seems to be building the roster by developing its own young talent, and augmenting it with other young players who have yet to fulfill their potential. Though it’s been repeated ad nauseum, the fact that the Yankees did not sign any major league free agents this past winter is staggering. These aren’t your father’s Yankees. But for me, no Yankees are “my father’s Yankees” because he doesn’t like baseball, or any sport for that matter. Still, his son became a devout fan, which is equally staggering to me. How did that happen?

My father immigrated here from Pakistan, and his relationship to professional sports can generously be described as ambivalent. He, like many immigrant parents, was more interested in making sure that his children succeeded in school, so they could go on to become doctors, lawyers, or engineers. Even if he had a greater interest in sports, Cricket and Men’s Field Hockey are the dominant sports in Pakistan, and they aren’t exactly featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. Assuming we spent Saturdays playing catch in the backyard, I’m not sure it would have helped much, as I was terrible at baseball. Ultimately, he was probably playing to his and my strengths at the time, by focusing on academics.

In many ways, my Yankee fandom stems from my maternal grandfather, whom I never had the opportunity to meet. My mother’s family immigrated to the Bronx from France and Eastern Europe. Long before the “Core Four” or the Bronx was burning, the Yankees were steamrolling the league in the 1930s and 1940s with players whose names are memorialized in Monument Park and Cooperstown. The Yankees were on top and it’s easy to see why they became so interwoven in the fabric of the city. You’d think that my grandfather’s devout fandom would have sparked generations of Yankee fans in my family, but team allegiances aren’t as hereditary as it might seem.

My uncle famously tells a story about how when he was a kid my grandfather asked him where he’d like to go for his birthday, and my uncle said he wanted to go to Coney Island (or out for Chinese food, depending on which version of the story he decides to tell that day), but my grandfather instead took him to Yankee Stadium. In fact, a recurring theme in my uncle and grandfather’s relationship was that whenever my uncle wanted to go anywhere, my grandfather would take him to Yankee Stadium. Predictably, as young boys rebel against their fathers, my uncle rebelled in the most visceral way he could, by becoming a Mets fan.

Somehow, my mom was not forced to go to Yankee Stadium anytime she wanted to ride the Cyclone or eat Chinese spare ribs, and as a result, she never held the same resentment towards the Yankees that my uncle did. Even though my mom never cared too much about baseball growing up, she recognized that being from the Bronx meant passing down to your children a love of the Yankees, and that this was as fundamental as passing down any religious or cultural tradition. In fact, that’s as important of a cultural tradition that has been passed down to me as anything else.

My mom would take my sister and I to games, and pulled us out of school to go watch the ticker tape parade in 1998. As it turns out, watching Paul O’Neill fist pump on Broadway is a healthier and more educational experience than learning about the Nitrogen cycle or getting teased in middle school gym class. Even as a young adult my mom got my family tickets through her job to go to see a few games. I remember we went to a game on a sticky August afternoon, and wouldn’t you know it, some intrepid young third baseman named Al Rodriguez hit a home run that day, his 500th I’m told. My sister and I cheered and hugged. And while I’m not sure what my brother-in-law’s reaction was at the time, I can imagine it fell somewhere between suspicion and disinterest.

You see, my brother-in-law is a good husband and a great dad, but he suffers from a major character flaw in that he’s a Red Sox fan. My sister and his jockeying over how to raise my 18-month-old niece plays out quite publicly on Facebook. One parent dresses my niece in preferred team apparel and posts about it, while the other is off running errands, and vice versa. I would be remiss in my duties as a proud uncle if I failed to mention that my niece smiles and giggles in her Yankee gear, and reacts with a look that says “Mommy is not going to like this,” when donning her Red Sox cap. In an effort to ease tensions, my brother-in-law’s mother, a highly skilled seamstress, bought both Yankees and Red Sox toddler sized jerseys, cut them in half and sewed two of the halves together. We won’t know for some time where my niece’s allegiances lay, and ultimately she may not end up liking or caring about baseball at all.

Yanks Sox jersey

As it turns out, ambivalence towards the sport isn’t exactly unheard of in my family. Not only is my uncle a die-hard converted Mets fan, but my aunt is from the Dominican Republic, which might be the most baseball-rich place on Earth. Her love for Robinson Cano is absolute and transcends team affiliations, and I think, is seconded only by her love of Marc Anthony, at least according to recent conversations. Nevertheless, their son, my cousin, has almost no interest in baseball whatsoever. It’s no surprise he’d much rather focus on swimming, a sport at which he excels.

I’m not sure my aunt and uncle did anything specific to turn him off of the sport. And, as much as “you can’t predict baseball”™ neither can you predict whether children will have the same allegiances as their parents or any interest in the sport at all. I have one parent who doesn’t like sports and another who doesn’t particularly care about them, and yet I turned out to be a rabid Yankee fan.

As this new season starts, I think about what it would have been like to talk to my grandfather about those great Yankees teams of the 30s, 40s and 50s, what it was like to watch the Bambino, the Mick, and Joltin’ Joe. I hope that one day I’ll get to talk about the baseball giants that I saw. “What do you mean he only threw one pitch, Grandpa?” “But wait, why would the shortstop even be positioned up the first base line for a relay through to the catcher?” Or maybe after this season, a story about the most improbable of Didi Gregorius playoff home runs. Hopefully, they don’t look at me as a senile elderly man, embellishing old stories, or worse, become Mets fans.

DotF: Clarkin throws five strong innings in Tampa’s win

Got two quick links to pass along:

  • Baseball America (no subs. req’d) published their annual list of the youngest players in each pro league. RHP Luis Severino is the third youngest player in the AL, behind Astros SS Carlos Correa and Blue Jays RHP Roberto Osuna. RHP Ronald Herrera is the fourth youngest player in the Double-A Eastern League, and SS Yancarlos Baez and SS Jorge Mateo are fifth and tenth youngest players in the High-A Florida State League, respectively.
  • Also, Cut4 ranked the top 100 minor league names, so that’s fun. RHP Icezack Flemming came in at No. 38.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-0 loss to Rochester) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain after four innings … since this is technically the Opening Day game, here is the full lineup

  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-4, 2 K, 1 SB
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 K — he struck out on a slider yesterday and a changeup today, per Donnie Collins and Shane Hennigan … that doesn’t tell us much of anything though
  • 3B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 E (fielding)
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 3-4, 1 2B — got picked off first … usually not good when one player has 75% of your hits for the game
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-4, 2 K — he threw a runner out at second from his knees according to Collins
  • 1B Chris Parmelee: 0-3, 1 BB
  • 2B Donovan Solano: 0-4
  • DH Deibinson Romero: 0-3, 2 K
  • SS Pete Kozma: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 K — three years ago he was the starting shortstop for a pennant winning club, now he’s batting ninth in Triple-A
  • RHP Chad Green: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 5/2 GB/FB — 41 of 68 pitches were strikes (61%) … he started yesterday before the rain
  • RHP Tyler Cloyd: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 5/3 GB/FB — 33 of 57 pitches were strikes (58%)
  • RHP Nick Goody: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K — eight of 13 pitches were strikes … he managed to give up five home runs in 10.2 innings in Spring Training, then gave one up to the first batter he faced in the regular season

[Read more…]

Friday Night Open Thread

Here is the open thread for the evening. The MLB Extra Innings package is still in free preview mode for a few more days, so find the channels and you can watch any baseball game you like tonight. Both the Knicks and Nets are playing as well. Talk about those games, today’s loss, or anything else here.